KAMLOOPS — From last summer's devastating wildfires to the opioid crisis, Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo MP Cathy McLeod admits it's been a tough 2017.
"I think we headed into this year with great optimism, Canada's 150, but between things like the B.C. wildfires, it was a very difficult summer in our riding and it continues to be difficult," she tells CFJC Today. "I look at the opioid crisis and certainly the loss of a number of people in our area from that. Some years stand out for less good memories than others but we continue to be so fortunate to live in Canada, to live in B.C., and to live in Kamloops."
She also scored a partial victory on one file she pushed particulary hard on: the proposed changes to small business taxation.
"That was something that came out in the middle of the wildfire season. It was small business tax changes that were going to make a big difference to our ranchers, to our family farms, to anyone that owned a business that tried to save a bit of more or hope to pass it down to their children," McLeod says. "We fought against that very hard and the government did make changes."
She notes while some changes were positive they didn't go nearly far enough.
"In my opinion, what they've done is they've targeted the small business owners but they've left the big fish, including people like the finance minister, untouched. If they're going to look at the tax system, it's time to do a big look in terms of tax fairness, a major overhaul of the tax structure."
Looking ahead to 2018, McLeod says having a new party leader in place, Andrew Scheer, should provide for an effective opposition to the governing Liberals.
"We're two years before the next election so we're glad to have a permanent leader and moving forward in terms of starting to present a vision for Canadians for 2019 which is very important."
And speaking of the 2019 election, does McLeod plan on running again?
"We still have two years so I'm focused on the work I need to do both as the Shadow Minister for Indigenous Affairs and of course representing the riding and the things we need to focus on."
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